Our History

Jeremiah Program was founded in 1993 when Michael J. O’Connell answered the call of leaders in Minneapolis, MN, to engage the community in breaking the cycle of poverty for the growing number of children being born to single mothers living in poverty. He assembled leaders from the key sectors of business, education, faith, government and philanthropy to move the vision forward.

Northern States Power (now Xcel Energy) donated land, and in 1998 the Minneapolis campus opened for 18 families. In 2001, 21 additional residential units and an on-site child development center were added.

Expanding Nationally

Jeremiah’s first expansion came in 2007 when community leaders in St. Paul, MN, joined with Jeremiah to build a second location. A $14 million campaign allowed construction of a campus with 38 units in the Summit-University neighborhood.

As the population of low-income single mothers in the U.S. continues to grow, Jeremiah is answering calls from communities around the country who are eager for effective approaches to reducing poverty. This growing need is driving Jeremiah Program’s national expansion into new communities.

In Austin, TX, a new campus with 35 two-bedroom apartments opened in March 2017, next door to four duplexes where Jeremiah families have resided since 2013. Ground will be broken in Fargo, ND–Moorhead, MN, in summer 2017, and Jeremiah is partnering with leading organizations in Boston, MA, to deliver its holistic model. In addition, leaders in Charlottesville, VA, Rochester, MN, and Brownsville, NY, are exploring bringing Jeremiah to their communities.